Mads Mikkelsen Source
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WHY MADS MIKKELSEN: It’s difficult to choose one particular aspect of Mikklesen’s performance as Hannibal Lecter to sum up why he’s so good, good enough to have largely displaced Anthony Hopkins’ ownership of the role. It could be his ability to deliver huge lies and half-truths as psychoanalysis in a way that ensorcells viewers as much it would Will Graham. It could be his stillness, or the micro-expressions that betray a monster who’s worried about ripping his person suit. It could be his ability to infuse that monster with a warped sense of compassion and tenderness, even if the compassion and tenderness feel like the traits of a well-behaved predator. Or it could be, as Season 2 amply demonstrated, that Mikklesen is a skilled comedian, underplaying certain campy lines so that they’re not even campy until you stop to think about them (“You can slice the ginger.”) and finding utter delight in Hannibal’s machinations (“Eat your nose.”). Or maybe it’s just all of the above. — Noel Kirkpatrick


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